Goal-keeper Vikas Dahiya had almost quit hockey out of frustration

By: Sujata Sarkar
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Kolkata, Dec 21: Vikas Dahiya has come to Kolkata to play in the prestigious Beighton Cup. Dahiya reached Kolkata within a span of 24 hours after Junior Hockey World Cup triumph in Lucknow.

Junior Hockey World Cup 2016: India beat Belgium 2-1 to win the title

Dahiya had to go the Sports Authority of India (SAI) Astroturf ground to train for his team Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd.

Indian Junior hockey players celebrate with the winning trophy after their victory over Belgium in the final Junior World Cup Hockey 2016 in Lucknow.

Speaking on Tuesday, Dahiya laughed off and said, “I thought I would get some days’ rest after the hectic schedule that was going on almost for last three years, but there is no chance of taking rest.”

The 21-year old goalkeeper was the hero in India’s semifinal tie in the World Cup, thwarting two crucial shots in the tie-breaker, revealed one of the most interesting stories in his career so far.

Dahiya had quit from hockey out of frustration two years ago!

He disclosed saying, “I played in the national championship in 2012 in New Delhi, representing Indian SAI hostel team. We lost in quarterfinal. I had an impressive show in the national championship. We all knew that junior Word Cup is scheduled to take place in the very next year and I was optimistic about getting my national call.

But I did not get the call and the reason was my age. According to Hockey India age rule for the 2013 World Cup, the players who were born before 1993 were being summoned in the national camp. As my birth year was 1995, I became completely dejected and quit the game. I returned to studies which I stopped to maintain the passion for hockey. I was admitted to India’s one of the best commerce colleges Sri Ram College of Commerce in New Delhi.”

Amidst the situation, after almost a year Vikas watched a Hockey India circular which showed the players will again be called for the national camp for the next junior World Cup, to be held in 2016 in Lucknow instead of its normal schedule in 2017.

Vikas said, “I again returned to training at Sonipat SAI, having stopped my studies.”

Dahiya expressed great tribute to his childhood idol PR Sreejesh.

He said,"Sreejesh has been my childhood idol. I used to watch his goalkeeping through the internet when my career began six years ago. That is why I often say getting chance in the senior Indian squad as second goalkeeper has been the best part of my hockey as I got the opportunity to come closer to the first goalkeeper in the senior Indian squad, PR Sreejesh!”

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